This is a difficult time for all of us. Covid 19 is changing how we can associate with one another and making us more aware of how to protect ourselves, family members and those all around us. The tips for the elderly to stay healthy are really no different than the rest of the population:

Don’t travel. Avoid large gatherings. Wash hands.

Although we have all have been inundated with this message over and over, we need to be aware that the Elderly in our neighbourhoods may need some additional supports and tips.

Medication: • Register with a pharmacy that delivers. If you do not normally receive your medications in daily bubble packs, this may be a good time to request for this service. • If your pharmacy does not offer delivery or you do not wish to change pharmacies, have a healthy family member or neighbour pick up and drop off medications for you. Remember when they drop your medications off, keep social distancing in mind. • If you have no other alternative and must go to a pharmacy, go during off peak hours.

Doctors’ Offices and Medi Centres: • Avoid going to the clinics unless absolutely necessary. • Call the clinic ahead of time. Speak to the staff, is your medical concern something that your doctor can address over the phone or via a e-consultation? • Call 811 Health Link. Please note they are overwhelmed with calls so you may have a long wait. Put your phone on speaker, listen to their music and go about your household while listening for someone to pick up. • Covid-19 is something new to all of us. We are all feeling a little anxious and that is OK! If your anxiety is making it hard to function or you are having trouble sleeping, call the Mental Health Helpline 1-800-303-2643 someone is available 24hrs a day to help.

Grocery Shopping: • Most grocery stores offer delivery service, call them and make arrangements for them to bring your groceries to you. • Check with your local food bank, many have volunteers ready to deliver hampers to you. • Have a family member or neighbour bring groceries to your front step. Pay via e-transfer if possible. DO NOT GIVE ANYONE YOUR CREDIT CARD or DEBIT information. • Most grocery stores are offering early shopping hours for the elderly or disabled. Go during this time. The less you interact with others the safer you will be.

Childcare: • Limit or stop babysitting grandchildren. Children are more likely to be asymptomatic and could spread the virus unintentionally. • Feeling alone, missing your social outings or activities? Call Senior Centre Without Walls 780-395-2626. They provide FREE interactive telephone based social & health programming. • Social distancing DOES NOT mean social isolation. Pick up the phone, call a friend, neighbour, family member. Use FaceTime. Skype or social media to keep in touch with those you love. They are most likely feeling isolated and alone, too.

Being isolated and frightened can cause people to act out. If you, your neighbour or loved one is elderly and being treated in a negative manner, contact Stop Abuse in Families at 780-460-2195 ext 305 or email and discuss your concerns with our Elder Abuse Response Coordinator.